Gustavo Santaolalla

Babel is a movie directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The movie connects seemingly unrelated people around the globe, and may challenge your biases, or preconceived notions. 

Gustavo Santaolalla won two back to back Academy Awards for Best Score. Brokeback Mountain in 2005, and Babel in 2006.

Around this time, I was in a fledgling rock band, and didn’t how I would incorporate music as a profession going forward. I knew I didn’t want to be in another band.

While cleaning my apartment, a commercial/trailer for Brokeback Mountain was on the television. [2005 was still the dark ages with regard to public consciousness, and Brokeback Mountain was very controversial.]

The music in the trailer hit me like a wave. I ran to my computer to Google who the composer, musician, or guitarist might be. And that’s it. That moment changed my whole life trajectory.

I bought a nylon string guitar, because I thought Gustavo Santaolalla might play something like that, and I began to write music. All the while, I started to conceive Intellimusica and eventually launched it 10 years later in 2011. 

My first post was Epilogue by Gustavo Santaolalla, from the movie Biutiful — also directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. I’m so tempted to redo that entire post because it makes me cringe. The video, performance, and guitar tab are nowhere near my standard of today. However, I guess it’s my personal history, and I should leave it be.

324 posts later, this blog is my garden. I’m constantly supplying it with new content — all according to my latest whim. A gigantic section of the blog is dedicated to the work of Gustavo Santaolalla, and the minimalist way he plays guitar and writes music in general.

How to play Tazarine for guitar, by Gustavo Santaolalla

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Gustavo Santaolalla plays an Oud for Tazarine — which is a pear shaped Middle Eastern guitar. He was unfamiliar with the Oud prior to recording music on it for Babel. Essentially this gave Santaolalla the “beginner’s mind” when writing music on the Oud. He wasn’t biased from culture or tradition, and was able to create something entirely original.

The guitar tab for Tazarine is only two pages long, and played straight through, without repeats. I consider this song to be easy to play, and perfect for beginner guitarists. 

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Tazarine is played in standard tuning. 

Tazarine for guitar


Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.